Exploring the Best Travel Destinations on a Budget: Cheap Places to Travel Around the World

2023-11-07 02:59:51 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of Vytravels.com, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.
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Looking to satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the bank? Look no further! In this article, we have compiled a list of the best travel destinations cheap, spanning across the globe from the stunning landscapes of North America to the enchanting cultures of Asia and everything in between. Whether you crave a tropical beach getaway or a thrilling safari adventure, we have got you covered. So, join us on this journey as we reveal the most affordable and unforgettable destinations that will make your travel dreams a reality without emptying your wallet.

6 Affordable Destinations to Travel in the US

Traveling within the US can be costly, but there are still ways to save money on your next vacation. Explore the nation and its influences from western Europe, beautiful national parks, and more at these budget-friendly destinations. By booking an inexpensive domestic flight, you can easily reach these cheap places to travel in the US.

1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Nestled at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers a variety of fun and scenic activities that change with the seasons. It is one of the most affordable destinations in the US.

Experience country music shows, breathe in fresh mountain air, and visit colorful museums in this charming resort town. Don't forget to try a delicious fried treat from the Donut Friar before embarking on your adventure.

You can have fun exploring Gatlinburg's charming streets by taking a ride on the trolley and then heading to the picturesque trails of the Smoky Mountains.

2. Washington, DC

Washington, DC is no longer just a city of political machinations and historic landmarks. It has transformed into a vibrant and trendy destination. Here, you can find beautiful sights, cultural experiences, and affordable places to travel, all while immersing yourself in history.

Explore the largest museum complex in the world and take a tour of African-American history on U Street. Discover colorful art murals around the city and indulge in the growing food scene in the District.

From colonial homes in Old Town to contemporary art galleries in Dupont Circle, every step you take will transport you through time.

3. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a melting pot of cultures and is known as one of the friendliest cities in the country. It is also one of the most affordable places to travel in the US. In addition to the famous Alamo, the city offers extensive Spanish-colonial architecture, Mexican culinary wonders, and a charming Texan atmosphere.

You can explore San Antonio by taking a ride on a double-decker bus or gliding along the San Antonio River on a boat. Don't forget to visit the Historic Market Square (El Mercado) and escape the crowds of the River Walk with a trip to Southtown.

If you're visiting at the beginning of the month, make sure to join the free art walk on First Fridays. Explore the historic King William neighborhood and enjoy authentic cuisine and art shows.

4. Denver, Colorado

Denver, situated a mile above sea level, is a hidden gem for affordable travel. Despite its altitude, it offers plenty of attractions without breaking the bank.

Discover the city's charm by riding the affordable Denver Trolley and taking a free walking tour. Visit landmarks such as the Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver Mint, and Central Library. Enjoy candy tasting at Hammond's Candy Factory, explore the trails of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, and relax by the serene lakes in City Park.

From romantic adventures to family fun, Denver has something to offer for every traveler.

5. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, known as the Holy City, is a captivating destination filled with beautiful churches and rich history. Explore landmarks like the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Saint Michael's Church, both of which can be visited for free.

But Charleston has much more to offer than just churches. Discover the grand mansions and sprawling gardens of Middleton Place and Aiken-Rhett House, where Gullah culture takes center stage.

As you walk across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, admire the wrought iron gates, and relax on Folly Beach, be prepared to be amazed by the endless discoveries Charleston has to offer.

6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, also known as the City of Brotherly Love, offers numerous cheap places to make your trip more affordable. Experience landmark Revolutionary War history in Independence Hall and visit the iconic statue of Rocky.

Enjoy impressive skyline views from the Schuylkill River Trail and wander through the history-filled Elfreth Alley.

While Philadelphia may not have beaches, it compensates with attractions like Spruce Street Harbor Park, where you can relax in a hammock, play games, and enjoy great food and cold beers.

Whether you're planning a quick weekend getaway or a mini-vacation, Philadelphia is the perfect affordable destination.


"This is always a popular travel destination in the summer, but a vacation to Europe can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Here are some spots that you can visit for less," says Morrow.

  1. Austria: ,932
  2. Poland: ,130
  3. Germany: ,369
Old San Juan's Morro Castle in Puerto Rico—the cheapest place to visit in the Caribbean.


North America

"If you're looking for an alternative to the Caribbean, these countries south of the U.S. are a good option," says Morrow. Fun fact: In North America, the United States came in fourth on the list with an average cost of ,664.

  1. Panama: $4,520
  2. Honduras: $4,751
  3. Mexico: $5,104
A sunset over Cartagena, Colombia—the cheapest place to visit in South America.


The Caribbean

"This region remains popular with American travelers because there are some excellent deals to be had. And you can't beat the weather," says Morrow.

  1. Puerto Rico: $4,392
  2. Jamaica: $4,695
  3. The Bahamas: $4,703
Standup paddleboarding in Panama—the cheapest place to visit in North America.



"This part of the world isn't necessarily the most expensive to visit, but it is usually a long journey for most Americans," says Morrow.

  1. Fiji: $4,917
  2. Australia: ,706
  3. New Zealand: $15,478
A view of Florence in Italy—the most popular international destination to travel, according to a new ... [ ] report.



"This is, by far, the most expensive area of the world to visit. If you're looking for a bucket list trip, Africa is it," says Morrow.

  1. Egypt: $13,177
  2. Zambia: $20,196
  3. South Africa: $22,514
Fiji was named one of the cheapest places to travel in the world in a new report. Pictured here: A ... [ ] view of Wadigi and Malolo islands.


South America

"Several countries in South America have become popular over the years, and a vacation here doesn't have to break the bank," says Morrow.

  1. Colombia: $5,876
  2. Argentina: ,003
  3. Brazil: $11,510
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India—the cheapest place to visit in Asia.



"This spot isn't trendy for Americans right now, but there are some countries to consider if budget is a concern," says Morrow.

  1. India: $5,666
  2. Thailand: ,393
  3. Philippines: ,054
Overlooking the Giza pyramids in Egypt—the cheapest place to visit in Africa.



Some say this underrated country could be "the next Croatia". For now, it remains very much under-the-radar.

Albania's unspoiled coastline, quirky capital, well-preserved Ottoman-era towns, and impressive Alps offer many reasons to visit. You can learn about the fascinating history of this once-isolated country, which was known during the Cold War as the 'North Korea' of Europe. Today, it's a developing democracy, and improved infrastructure has made it easier to travel.

Oh, and did I mention it may well be the cheapest destination in Europe? You can easily find hostel dorms for $10 or budget hotel rooms for around $25. Albanian cuisine is fantastic, and a good lunch or dinner might cost you about $2 to $4.

Backpacker Budget: $25 a dayMid-range Budget: $50 a dayHighlights: Hiking the Accursed Mountains, cheap beach stays, the historic town of GjirokasterWhen to go: peak season Jul-Aug - shoulder season Apr-Jun, Sep-Oct


1 USD = 379.64 HUF

Hungary's favorable economy is great news for anyone planning a trip to Budapest, where a growing scene of Michelin-starred restaurants and high-tech spas awaits. Budapest offers plenty of five-star hotels at affordable prices. For a more indulgent experience, consider staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest, a stunning property filled with chandeliers, stained glass, and white stucco. As the capital of hedonism in Europe, Budapest is the perfect place to embrace luxury.


Longtail boats parked on a beautiful beach on an island in Thailand

Thailand holds a special place in my heart as it's where my journey of traveling the world began. It's an incredible destination that is also super affordable.

With a well-established tourist trail, Thailand is the backpacking hub of Southeast Asia. You can easily get by on $25-35 USD per day thanks to cheap guesthouses, budget street food, local buses, and the abundance of cheap and free attractions. If you spend most of your time on the islands and in expensive accommodation, expect to pay around USD per day. However, even at that price, Thailand remains one of the most budget-friendly destinations in the world and should not be missed.


Seriously, don't underestimate Romania.

This Eastern European country offers incredible experiences that often surprise visitors. From the spectacular Transylvania region with its cute medieval towns and ancient fortified churches to the mighty Carpathian mountain range, Romania has a lot to offer. Whether you visit during spring, summer, or winter, you'll find something enchanting, from low-cost ski resorts to snow-covered castles.

You can easily travel on a backpacker budget of $30-40 per day in Romania. If you're looking for a more luxurious experience, you can find charming B&Bs starting at $30 per night. Don't miss out on this hidden gem of European travel.

Backpacker Budget: $40 a dayMid-range Budget: a dayHighlights: Towns in Transylvania, European safaris in the CarpathianWhen to go: peak season Jun-Aug - shoulder season Apr-May, Sep-Oct

Cape Verde

Can an entire country be called a hidden gem? If so, then Cape Verde is definitely one. This small archipelago off the coast of Africa is still relatively unknown, but it offers a wonderful winter escape.

While the island of Sal is known for its inexpensive package holiday resorts, the real highlight is the magnificent island of Santo Antao. I had some of my best hiking and trekking experiences there. The landscapes are truly unbelievable.

Cape Verde provides good value for money and is safe and fairly well-developed. As a budget traveler, I spent about $45 per day, staying in B&Bs and enjoying local food. Don't miss out on this travel destination.

Backpacker Budget: $45 a dayMid-range Budget: a dayHighlights: Hiking on Santo Antao, beach resorts on SalWhen: peak season Dec-Jan, Jun-Sep - shoulder season Feb-Apr, Sep-Nov


Think of Laos as Thailand without the mass tourism. It's a sparsely populated country with mountains and forests, offering a paradise for outdoor activities at budget prices.

Laos has become more accessible in recent years, making it the perfect time to visit if you want to escape the crowds and experience authenticity. Sleep in tree huts and zip-line through the jungle canopy at the famous Gibbon Experience, or visit Laos' most epic waterfalls in the Bolaven Plateau.

Backpacker Budget: $25 a dayMid-range Budget: $45 a dayHighlights: Luang Prabang, Mekong river journeys, the Gibbon ExperienceWhen to go: peak season Nov-Feb, shoulder season Oct, Mar-Apr


1 USD = 11,260.00 UZS

Uzbekistan is emerging as a thrilling and affordable destination in Central Asia. Both major cities boast a combination of stunning mosques and striking monuments that can be explored for free. Plus, dining at restaurants will rarely cost you more than $5 per meal. While name-brand hotels are still limited, even luxury options like the Hyatt Regency Tashkent have rates below $170 per night.

Book now with ExpediaBook now with Hyatt


1 USD = 15,614.15 IDR

Despite the popularity of Bali among tourists, Indonesia remains an affordable vacation spot. For a more peaceful and budget-friendly trip, consider visiting the islands of Sumba and Lombok. Jakarta offers delicious and affordable street food options, such as greasy noodles and nasi goreng gila, for just a few dollars.

Uzbekistan cheap places to travel

Mint Images/Getty

The Gambia

1 USD = 62.05 GMD

Although it may be the smallest country in continental Africa, the Gambia is a hidden gem worth exploring. This ultra-affordable nation is known for its wildlife and is gaining recognition as a food destination and luxury cruise port of call.


1 USD = 132.08 NPR

Ranked as one of the cheapest countries for travelers, Nepal offers more than just Mount Everest. While Kathmandu may seem overwhelming at first, it is home to great hotels and museums. Nearby Bhaktapur and Patan provide a more low-key experience without sacrificing culture.

North Macedonia

1 USD = 57.87 MKD

Often overlooked, North Macedonia is an affordable and underrated destination in Europe. The charming city of Ohrid, located on the beautiful Lake Ohrid, offers cobbled streets, quaint churches, and stunning landscapes.


1 USD = 110.46 RSD

Belgrade is emerging as an exciting cultural epicenter in Europe, offering a more affordable alternative to cities like Paris and Berlin. With a plethora of museums and contemporary art installations, as well as vibrant nightlife, Belgrade provides a unique experience at a lower cost.

Ohrid North Macedonia



1 USD = 4.39 MYR

In Malaysia, your money can go a long way. Indulge in street food and explore cities like Kuala Lumpur on foot to make the most of your budget. The country also offers inexpensive or even free access to pristine beaches, limestone caves, and stunning tea plantations. For a luxurious experience, consider staying at The Datai Langkawi, even though it may be more expensive.


1 USD = 24.72 EGP

Contrary to popular belief, visiting Egypt can be affordable due to the strengthened Egyptian pound. This presents an opportunity to explore iconic sights such as the Pyramids, Nile cruises, and the vibrant city of Cairo. New hotel openings like St. Regis Cairo and Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria, as well as the upcoming Grand Egyptian Museum, make Egypt an even more enticing destination.

Book a stay at St. Regis CairoBook a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria


Cuba offers a unique and affordable experience that feels like a step back in time. Explore the country's vintage cars, rum, and salsa while staying in affordable and charming local accommodations known as Casas Particulares. It remains a budget-friendly destination with a range of options for different budgets.


If you're seeking adventure on a budget, Bolivia is the ultimate destination in South America. With its deserted beaches and breathtaking salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia offers stunning sights at affordable prices. Traveling here can be inexpensive, with costs as low as $20 per day.

India: an all-time favourite for budget travellers

India remains a favorite among budget travelers, offering an extensive and affordable travel experience. It's a country where you can explore extensively and enjoy delicious food without breaking the bank. From the gorgeous beaches of Gokarna to the vibrant street food scene in Mumbai, India has something for every budget.

Varanasi, Ganges, India © ShutterstockVaranasi, India © Shutterstock

Portugal for a cheap country in Western Europe

Portugal offers great value for travelers looking to visit Western Europe without breaking the bank. Skip the crowded resorts and cities of Spain and instead explore the ruggedly beautiful Alentejo coast and vibrant Lisbon. It remains one of the best bargains in the region.

Find budget places to stay in Portugal

alentejo-portugal-shutterstock_105769898Portugal is arguably the cheapest country in Western Europe © Shutterstock

Bulgaria for an underrated tourist destination

Bulgaria often flies under the radar as a tourist destination, but it offers a lot to budget travelers. With its deserted beaches, lovely old towns, and dramatic mountain ranges, Bulgaria is perfect for those seeking adventure and exploration. Varna on the coast and the ancient town of Plovdiv are recommended places to visit.

Find budget places to stay in Bulgaria

Panoramic view of Golden Sands beach (Zlatni Piasci) in Bulgaria © Aleksandar Todorovic/ShutterstockThe underrated country of Bulgaria © Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

Mexico: one of the cheapest places to travel

Mexico offers an abundance of affordable experiences for travelers. With its diverse landscapes, beautiful beaches, and delicious street food, Mexico has something for everyone. Whether you're relaxing on the white sands, exploring traditional cuisine in Oaxaca, or swimming in crystal-clear cenotes, a trip to Mexico won't break the bank.

Find budget places to stay in Mexico

Beach Zipolite Oaxaca, Mexico © ShutterstockZipolite beach, Oaxaca, Mexico © Shutterstock

Save money in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, with its unique location connecting Europe and Asia, offers an enticing blend of history and culture. While popular tourist sights can be costly, there are still plenty of affordable ways to enjoy the city. Take a Bosphorus ferry, explore the Grand Bazaar, and savor freshly-cooked kebabs on a streetside terrace to make the most of your budget.

Find budget places to stay in Istanbul

Blue mosque, Instanbul © OPIS Zagreb/ShutterstockIstanbul, Turkey © Shutterstock

Greece, despite facing economic challenges, remains an attractive and budget-friendly destination. Support the local people and explore the country's stunning islands, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Prices have become even more affordable, making it an ideal time to visit.

Hydra Island, Greece © Anastasios71/ShutterstockGreece — one of the best budget destinations © Anastasios71/Shutterstock

Vietnam: An Affordable Country with an Abundance of Offerings

Vietnam is renowned as one of the most budget-friendly and captivating travel destinations. The country's landscapes are its biggest draw, ranging from the breathtaking limestone karsts in the north to the idyllic waterways and rice fields of the Mekong Delta. Vietnam also boasts stunning beaches and bustling cities. Take a look at our readers' voted most beautiful places in Vietnam.

Let's not forget about the incredible Vietnamese cuisine. Pull up a stool at a pho stall and savor some of the best food in the world for just a few dollars. It's an immersive experience, surrounded by locals. Check out our 9 tips for backpacking Vietnam and find out the best time to visit Vietnam. And if you want to go off the beaten track, discover unique experiences in Vietnam before your trip.

food-street-pho-vietnam-shutterstock_274359428Vietnamese street food is one of the many reasons Vietnam is an affordable destination. © JNEZAM/Shutterstock

South Africa: An Incredible Value for Safari Adventures

One of the highlights of traveling in South Africa is the opportunity to embark on a safari without breaking the bank. You can witness the Big Five in their natural habitat while exploring Hluhluwe-Imfolozi to catch a glimpse of the white rhino, avoiding the crowds of Kruger National Park.

If you're up for outdoor adventures, head to the Drakensberg for exceptional hiking. And make sure to allot a few days to experience the vibrant Cape Town or Johannesburg and explore the lively nightlife in South Africa.

Plan your trip by checking out the best time to visit South Africa and discovering the top road trips across the country.

Find affordable accommodations in South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa - aerial view © Mark Van Overmeire/ShutterstockCape Town is a popular destination for budget-conscious travelers. © Mark Van Overmeire/Shutterstock

Republic of Georgia: A Fascinating and Affordable Destination

The Republic of Georgia, located on the cusp of Asia and Europe, is a captivating and highly affordable destination. With costs rivaling those of Southeast Asian countries, Georgia offers a unique experience for travelers. Despite an influx of Russian emigrants escaping conscription, the country remains a wonderful place to visit.

In the capital, Tbilisi, traditional Georgian houses stand alongside Soviet-era architecture and contemporary designs. During my stay in Tbilisi, I was amazed by the city's soul and character. From Tbilisi, you can explore the stunning Caucasian Mountain range, relax on the Black Sea, or visit ancient monasteries built inside caves.

With the availability of 1-year visas for remote workers, Georgia is an ideal destination for digital nomads in close proximity to Europe.

Backpacker Budget: $20 a dayMid-range Budget: $40 a day

The Baltic States: Scandinavian Vibes on a Budget

Often overlooked, the three Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - offer a taste of Scandinavia without breaking the bank.

Surrounded by woodlands, peat bogs, lakes, and charming log cabins painted in deep red, the Baltics resemble Finland. The locals share a love for cross-country skiing, saunas, and vodka. The best part is that costs in the Baltics are just a fraction of those in the Nordic countries.

During my travels in Estonia, I discovered a country rich in history and charm, while also serving as a hub for tech startups. As I enjoyed some local IPAs in Tallinn, friendly locals shared stories of IPOs.

While the tourist center of Tallinn can be pricier, the overall cost of traveling in the Baltic states is very affordable. You'll find dinner for under 7 Euro and hotel rooms priced at around 30 to 40 Euro per night.

Backpacker Budget: $35 a dayMid-range Budget: a day

Philippines: Affordable Paradise

1 USD = 55.60 PHP

There's nothing quite like island hopping in the Philippines. Despite its awe-inspiring beauty, destinations like Palawan and Siargao remain surprisingly affordable. Even luxurious resorts like the Shangri-La Boracay can be booked for under $350 per night, making it a dream destination within reach.

Cairo Egypt

Spencer Davis/Unsplash

Costa Rica: Nature's Grandeur at an Affordable Price

1 USD = 593.31 CRC

While the Costa Rican colón may have fluctuated recently, it still offers favorable rates for U.S. travelers. What's more, the country's greatest asset - its natural beauty - often comes at no cost. From exploring the tropical cloud forests in Alajuela to surfing off the coast of Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica is a haven for outdoor adventurers. And let's not forget about the impressive selection of hotels.

Colombia: South America's Affordable Gem

1 USD = 4,778.33 COP

Colombia showcases the best of South America, with its diverse landscape encompassing Andean peaks, Amazonian jungles, and idyllic beaches. The country's major cities are buzzing with food, art, and technology, yet it remains one of the most affordable destinations for American travelers.

Guatemala: A Budget-Friendly Haven for Language Learning

It's hard not to fall in love with Guatemala and its captivating blend of natural beauty, Mayan traditions, and colonial heritage. This affordable destination is ideal for learning Spanish on a budget.

Once you've mastered the language, hop on one of Guatemala's famous camionetas, or "chicken buses," to explore. Immerse yourself in the graceful beauty of Antigua in the south, uncover the wonders of Guatemala City, or marvel at the monumental Maya temples of Tikal.

Plan your trip by checking out the best time to travel to Guatemala. You can also easily extend your trip to explore more of Central America.

Find affordable accommodations in Guatemala

el-arco-antigua-city-agua-volcano-guatemala-shutterstock_769890442Affordable accommodations and more in Guatemala © Shutterstock

Lithuania: $44 a Day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023Lithuania is often overlooked by travelers who tend to spend just a night or two in the capital, Vilnius. However, this charming country is not only underrated but also very affordable to explore. If you're a fan of partying, you'll find vibrant and fun nightlife scenes in Vilnius, with reasonably priced alcohol. For a more serene experience, check out the Old Town in Kaunas, Klaipeda, and Curonian Spit. Keep in mind that hostels can be scarce outside the capital, so it's best to book in advance or consider Couchsurfing!

  • Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $10 – $20 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $3 – for a full day of bus rides within the city, or $15 – $20 for an intercity bus ride. Buses seem to be more reliable than trains in Lithuania!
  • SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for for 3GB with 30-day validity

Turkey: $45 a Day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023Turkey can be both affordable and expensive, depending on your activities and travel route. While a hot air balloon ride can cost around $400-$500, intercity trips can be lengthy and pricey. However, Turkey offers numerous other bucket list-worthy experiences that are much more affordable. Careful planning and sticking to a well-thought-out route can make traveling through Turkey on a budget a reality.

Marvel at the stunning Blue Mosque in Istanbul, soak in the beauty of the white travertines in Pamukkale, and explore the bustling bazaars scattered throughout the country. While long-distance buses can be costly, overnight journeys can help save on accommodation expenses. For those short on time and money, focusing on one or two cities is a wise choice. Plus, Turkish cuisine is not only delectable but also reasonably priced.

  • Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $12 – $20 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $1 – $3 for a taxi ride or $30 – for an intercity overnight bus ride
  • SIM card with data: for 2GB with 30-day validity

Croatia: $47 a Day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

If you're seeking turquoise waters, abundant sunshine, and vibrant parties, Croatia is the perfect budget-friendly destination. With thousands of islands, favorable weather from May to October, and beach and yacht parties throughout the year, Croatia offers an ideal blend of natural beauty and affordability. Explore stunning architecture, visit intriguing sights like the Museum of Broken Relationships, and discover charming small towns.

To travel affordably in Croatia, it's best to visit during the shoulder season, avoiding the busy months of July and August. Additionally, limit your island hopping to a few islands to minimize transportation costs. As Croatia grows in popularity, prices are expected to rise, so consider visiting sooner rather than later to find great deals.

Poland: $44 a Day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Poland may not always be the first choice for travelers, but it offers a rich cultural and historical experience at an affordable price. With 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the country presents a perfect blend of heritage and charm. Despite being hearty and calorie-packed, Polish cuisine is delicious and budget-friendly. Take advantage of the local market to buy fresh produce and enjoy picnics on the beach instead of splurging on restaurants.

While Prague and Warsaw are popular destinations, venturing beyond these cities to places like Cesky Krumlov and Telc allows you to experience true Polish culture at a lower cost. Local transportation is affordable and reliable, making it easy to explore the country.

  • Meals: $10 – $15 per day
  • Accommodation: – $20 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of train rides, $10-$15 for an intercity train ride
  • SIM card with data: $3 for 2GB with 1-month validity

Czech Republic: $40 a Day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

As more tourists discover the beauty of the Czech Republic, especially Prague, prices have risen. However, the country still remains one of the most affordable destinations in central Europe. By exploring beyond Prague, such as Cesky Krumlov and Telc, you can experience true Czech culture at a lower cost. Local transportation is reliable and affordable, and getting a 3-day pass is a great option for extensive travel.

Czech cuisine may be heavy, but it's also hearty, ensuring that you'll be satiated. Opt for lunch at local restaurants and enjoy light snacks for dinner to stretch your budget. The entrance fees to historical sites and museums can be expensive, but you can appreciate the stunning architecture from outside and select a few intriguing ones to explore within.

  • Meals: $10 – $15 per day
  • Accommodation: $12 – $20 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $5 for a full day of tram rides, $15-$20 for an intercity bus ride
  • SIM card with data: $13 for 2GB with 1-month validity

Greece: $45 a Day

sailing greek islands poros

Timing is key when planning a budget trip to Greece. While prices for flights, accommodation, and tours have decreased since the country's debt crisis in 2010, summer months still tend to be more expensive. To save on expenses, avoid visiting in July and August, which are the hottest and busiest times. Visiting a few weeks before or after summer allows you to enjoy smaller crowds and lower prices. Additionally, purchasing fresh produce from local markets and preparing your own meals can help cut down on food costs. A picnic by the beautiful beach can be just as enjoyable as a lavish meal at a seafood restaurant!

When it comes to activities, opt for free walking tours and plan your island hopping wisely, focusing on a group of islands to minimize transfers. Sometimes, taking a domestic flight is more affordable than a long bus ride.

Georgia: $30/day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023Georgia is a stunning and affordable European destination that often goes unnoticed. And here's a fascinating fact: most travelers can enter Georgia without a visa and stay for up to a year. Yes, you read that right!

In Georgia, you can find quality hostels at reasonable prices. Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant for as low as $3 and take a ride on a local minibus for less than $1. Plus, the entrance fees to museums and historical sites are mostly under $2. The locals are incredibly warm and welcoming, and hitchhiking is a viable option for short and long-distance travel. With its beautiful day trips, hikes, and monasteries, Georgia has plenty to offer and is perfect if you have more time than money.

  • Meals: $10 – $15 per day
  • Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of bus and train rides, $5-$10 for an intercity ride, or $0 if you hitchhike!
  • SIM card with data: $3 for 1GB with 1-month validity

Kyrgyzstan: $25/day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023Kyrgyzstan is the perfect destination in Central Asia for travelers on any budget. Food and transportation in the country are cheap and interesting. You can easily get around using minibusses, and the prices are fixed. Accommodation options include affordable hostels in major destinations and local homestays in more rural areas. If you're planning a multi-day hike, tour prices should already cover most expenses.

  • Meals: $4 – per day
  • Accommodation: – $12 per night in a hostel or a local guesthouse
  • Transportation: $0.20 for a local minibus ride, or $4 for an intercity bus ride – that’s right!
  • SIM card with data: $3 for 3GB with 30-day validity. Please note that it might not work in the mountains.

A quick guide to Kyrgyzstan

Taiwan: $45/day

taiwan cheapest place to travel toTwo words: street food. Taiwan is a food lover's paradise with incredibly cheap yet delicious options. For less than $2, you can indulge in fragrant rice with pork or chicken, a large deep-fried chicken chop, or a bowl of mouthwatering vermicelli with oysters. In cities like Taipei and Tainan, you can even register for affordable city bikes to explore the streets. They cost less than $0.50 per hour per ride and are free for the first 30 minutes. This means you can spend a whole day exploring the city without spending much on transportation.

Keep in mind that high-end food and clothing prices in Taiwan can be on par with the US. Intercity traveling can also be expensive, but public transportation options are available. While internet is not as cheap as in other countries mentioned, Taiwan offers a unique street food experience that is worth every penny.

  • Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
  • Accommodation: $10 – $35 per night in a hostel (I highly recommend this one in Taipei!) Please note that Taiwan currently has COVID restrictions that affect shared accommodations for the first 7 nights of your stay.
  • Transportation: $0 – $3 for a full day of bike, bus, and train rides, or $20 – $40 for an HSR ride between cities
  • SIM card with data: $33 for unlimited data with 28-day validity

A complete guide to Taiwan

Sri Lanka

1 USD = 365.65 SLR

The value of the Sri Lankan rupee has significantly increased, making travel to Sri Lanka even more appealing. This incredible island nation offers a variety of experiences, from exploring leafy tea plantations and Buddhist temples to relaxing on golden beaches and visiting elephant sanctuaries.

Nepal: $30/day ($15/day if trekking)

thurong la pass nepalNepal is a budget-friendly destination where you can eat, sleep, and travel using local options for just a few dollars. Local cuisines are affordable and delicious, although it's recommended to be cautious with street food. You can find cheap and tasty home-cooked meals in local-run small cafes. When booking accommodations online, be aware that some local guesthouses have been taken over by big hotel chains, so it's best to research and book wisely. If you're planning a trek such as the Annapurna Circuit, you can save even more money on food and accommodation as you explore the stunning landscapes.

  • Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: -$12 per night in a local guesthouse
  • Transportation: $10-$15 per person for a private car and driver (split between 4 people), or a local bus ride between cities
  • SIM card with data: $3 for 1.25GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

A complete guide to Nepal

Malaysia: $40/day

tioman island beachDespite its reputation for being expensive, Malaysia can actually be affordable for budget travelers. When I visited for the first time, I discovered a country that was not only wallet-friendly but also rich in local experiences. Connecting with locals was easier, and I had a blast exploring places like Cameron Highlands, the jungles of Borneo, and the gorgeous islands, all without breaking the bank. Even an overnight bus ride to the Perhentian Islands costs as little as $15. Plus, Malaysian cuisine offers a diverse range of flavors from different cultures, and it's incredibly cheap and delicious (although not always healthy). Keep in mind that alcohol can be expensive due to high taxes, but if you're not a regular drinker, it won't be a significant expense.

  • Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: – $15 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $5 – for a full day of train and bus rides, or $15 – $20 for an overnight intercity bus ride
  • SIM card with data: for 2GB with 30-day validity

The Philippines: $37/day

lagaan falls siquijorTraveling around the Philippines can be both time-consuming and costly, but it is still possible to keep your expenses low. By traveling during shoulder seasons, planning in advance, and focusing on 1-2 regions, you can experience the beauty of the Philippines without breaking the bank. The country offers stunning islands, captivating dive sites, and hidden gems that would cost much more in other parts of the world. While hostel options may not be as abundant, there are still affordable choices available. Additionally, Filipino street food is a must-try, and it won't cost you much. So, even though the Philippines might require some careful planning and budgeting, it's definitely worth the investment.

  • Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: -$20 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $10-$15 for a motorbike rental for the day or $15 – $20 for a boat ride between islands
  • SIM card with data: for 2GB with 30-day validity

Indonesia: $35/day

The Blue Lagoon on Nusa CeninganIndonesia offers a range of options when it comes to budget travel. The key to keeping costs low lies in transportation. Intercity traveling can be expensive and time-consuming, especially when traveling between islands. To save money, it's best to focus on one or two regions. There is so much to do and see in Indonesia, and spending more time in one place allows for a deeper and more fulfilling experience. Public transportation is affordable, and renting a scooter to explore the mountains comes at a low cost. Additionally, hiking, chasing waterfalls, and relaxing on the beach can all be enjoyed without spending much. Hostels are plentiful and are social hubs, especially in places like the Gili Islands.

  • Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: -$15 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: -$15 for a scooter rental for the day
  • SIM card with data: $5 for 2GB with 30-day validity

Northern Thailand: $32/day

For budget travelers, northern Thailand is the place to be. As you head south, accommodation prices start to rise significantly. Sticking to the north allows you to enjoy a Thailand trip on a tight budget. Even in popular destinations like Chiang Mai and Pai, basic dorms can be found for less than . To truly experience the local culture, opt for street food instead of more expensive options. Not only will you save money, but you'll also have an authentic and delicious experience. When it comes to activities, you don't need much money to enjoy your day. Visiting the White Temple, hiking, and going on day trips are all affordable options.

  • Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel.
  • Transportation: -$10 for a motorbike rental for the day, or a rental car split between 4 people.
  • SIM card with data: for 1.5GB with 30-day validity.

Cambodia, $30/day

I can confirm that if you opt for a more rugged experience, you can easily spend a month in Cambodia with just $1000. Although dorms in hostels are quite basic, they are extremely cheap. The same goes for food and alcohol. I must also credit my haggling skills, as I was almost always able to negotiate fair prices with Tuk Tuk drivers. There are some additional expenses, such as the 3-day pass to Angkor Wat, which currently costs , and diving trips can add up. However, there are also days of biking around a small village and enjoying inexpensive and delicious meat skewers, where just a dollar or two can go a long way.

Another thing to consider are the beautiful, mostly new boutique hotels on booking.com. While they are not as cheap as hostels, they are definitely worth the price. I would definitely treat myself to a couple of nights and take some time to relax by the pool.

  • Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $5-$15 per night in a hostel (here’s a guide to the best hostels in Cambodia)
  • Transportation: -$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or for an intercity bus ticket
  • SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

Estonia, $44/day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023Nature lovers will adore Estonia, as 53% of the country is covered in forests. This provides ample opportunities for affordable hiking and exploring national parks. The small towns are also perfect for walking and cycling, minimizing transportation costs. If you are concerned about finding affordable hostels in these small towns, consider staying in the capital city, Tallinn, and taking day trips to visit them.

  • Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $10 – $20 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $3 – for a full day of train rides within the city, or $10 – $15 for an intercity train ride
  • SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for for 3GB with 30-day validity

Latvia, $47/day

Similar to Estonia, half of Latvia is covered in forests. The country is also home to thousands of lakes and rivers, perfect for canoeing enthusiasts. The best time to visit Latvia is during fall or winter, when you can canoe down rivers surrounded by color-changing leaves or experience the Christmas vibe at local markets. You can also spend a day exploring enchanting forests with hidden castles (although maybe not truly "hidden," it sounds more magical that way). All of these activities are affordable or even free, making Latvia a budget-friendly destination.

  • Meals: $12 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $14 – $25 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $2 – $5 for a full day of train rides within the city, or $10 – $15 for an intercity train ride.
  • SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for for 3GB with 30-day validity

Nicaragua, $35/day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023Nicaragua is one of the most affordable destinations in Central America, although this may not remain the case for much longer. The country is often referred to as the next Costa Rica, which implies an increase in prices and tourism. However, for now, Nicaragua remains a fun and interesting destination that won't break the bank.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy surfing, volcano hiking, and diving in Nicaragua. For a more relaxing experience, the colonial cities are perfect for leisurely strolls, and the beaches are gorgeous for lounging. Food is both cheap and delicious, although it can get repetitive. There are hostels throughout the country, so finding affordable accommodation is not a concern. However, it is important to note that there are safety concerns in Nicaragua, so be sure to check the official advisory site before making any travel plans.

  • Meals: – $10 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
  • Accommodation: $5 – $15 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of chicken bus rides, or – $15 for an intercity bus ride
  • SIM card with data: $12 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

South Korea

1 USD = 1,295.74 KRW

While many travelers flock to popular South Korean destinations like Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island, we have our eyes set on Mokpo, located in the Jeolla region at the southern tip of the peninsula. This port city offers some of the most interesting dining options in the country, with specialty dishes like hongeo (a naturally fermented, extremely pungent skate-fish dish) attracting food lovers from around the world.

The Balkans

Clear, stunning water near the lush mountains of Albania

Located in southeastern Europe, the Balkans are the cheapest region in Europe. Comprising of several countries that see relatively few tourists, this off-the-radar region offers incredible value for budget travelers. While popular destinations like Dubrovnik have experienced an influx of tourists, the majority of the region is perfect for adventurous travel. With cheap wine, stunning hiking and nature, beautiful coastlines, hearty food, and vibrant nightlife, the Balkans is Europe's best-kept secret.

You can get by on as little as $30 USD per day, which is a fraction of what you would spend in Western Europe. A week's worth of groceries can cost as little as $25 USD, and a beer costs around $2 USD.

The region has greatly improved in terms of safety over the past decade, with a growing backpacking trail and an increase in tourism. However, it won't be Europe's least-explored region for much longer, so visit before the crowds arrive and prices skyrocket.


Central America

Palm trees on the lush coast of Panama, taken by Nomadic Matt

If you want to explore ancient ruins, trek through jungles, surf, and indulge in delicious food with fewer tourists around, consider visiting the smaller countries in Central America, such as El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Here, you can find budget hotels for around $15-30 USD per night, meals for under $5 USD, and most bus journeys for a similar price. Additionally, you can enjoy beer for as little as a dollar.

Belize, Panama, and Costa Rica are slightly more expensive by regional standards, but they are still quite affordable. With a budget of $40-50 USD per day, you can travel as a backpacker, and by splurging a bit more at $100 a day, you can live lavishly. Your money goes a long way in this part of the world, and with so many countries to choose from, you can easily explore without breaking the bank.


How Low Can You Go?

The suggested budget above includes basic accommodation, transportation, 3 meals, internet access, and 1 paid activity per day. Additional costs, such as shopping and alcohol, should be considered to determine the exact amount needed.

Some travelers may want to engage in higher-cost activities like diving or skiing, while others may simply prefer to wander and explore local neighborhoods. For those on a shoestring budget, the suggested budgets can be further reduced by couch-surfing, hitchhiking, and skipping certain activities.

Are there any destinations you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Namibia, $45/day

sossusvlei namibiaNamibia is home to some of the world's most breathtaking views, including the stunning Sossusvlei, the hauntingly beautiful Deadvlei, and the massive Fish River Canyon, among others. At first glance, Namibia may not seem like a budget-friendly destination, as most accommodations cater to luxury travelers and transportation options within such a vast country can be limited. However, with some strategic planning, it's possible to save a significant amount of money.

The most important tip is to choose camping instead of staying in a lodge. Luxury lodges can cost between $50 and $200 per night, but camping at their campsites can cost just to $10 per night. Government campsites are slightly more expensive, ranging from $15 to $18 per night. In terms of transportation, splitting the cost of a 4x4 rental with a few people is ideal. If your accommodation provides a communal kitchen, taking advantage of it and cooking your own meals will certainly save money. Entrance fees to attractions are generally affordable.

  • Meals: $12 – $15 per day
  • Accommodation: – $18 per night
  • Transportation: $15 – $18 per day for a 4x4 split between 4 people
  • SIM card with data: $16 for 1.5GB with a 60-day validity

Arizona & Utah (for a road trip!), $45/day

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023While the United States is generally not considered a budget destination, embarking on a road trip allows for savings in some areas and splurges in others, balancing out the overall budget. During my American Southwest road trip, I spent an average of $110 per day, which included a camper van rental, food, gas, camping fees, and occasional indulgences. Traveling with others allows for even more cost-sharing. The more, the merrier (until you run out of space and start elbowing each other).

Here are some quick money-saving tips:

  • Get a national park pass for , allowing a carload of people access to any national park in the US for a year.
  • If renting a car, consider renting a camper van and camping for free on BLM land.
  • Cook your own meals! Renting a camper van with kitchen facilities is a great way to save money.
  • Meals: $12 – $15 per day
  • Accommodation: Free camping
  • Transportation: per day for a camper van split between 4 people
  • SIM card with data: $35 for 1GB with a 30-day validity


Morocco is located just a short distance from Europe and offers affordable travel experiences. However, it's important to avoid overpriced items sold by pushy salesmen. If you choose to travel independently instead of joining organized tours, you will find that Morocco can be quite reasonably priced.

Consider staying in riads, which are traditional hotels with garden courtyards, for great value accommodation with a touch of luxury. They provide a pleasant retreat from the bustling city streets.

They say the Sahara desert has more grains of sand than stars in the universe, and it's an incredible idea to contemplate while camping under the clear Milky Way sky.

Backpacker Budget: $40 a dayMid-range Budget: a day


Image of Geghard monastery in Armenia

Something extraordinary occurred in Armenia in 2018: the people peacefully protested against its dictator, who eventually apologized and promptly resigned. Since then, there has been a positive atmosphere in Armenia and a growing interest in tourism there.

Despite being a poor country, Armenia still retains its Soviet-era relics and the streets are filled with ladas. While its neighboring country Georgia may currently have more mainstream appeal, you will fall in love with the off-the-beaten-path charm of Armenia. I was fortunate to visit during Vardavar, an annual event where the entire city of Yerevan engages in playful water fights using water pistols, balloons, and buckets. Even the police and fire brigade participate!

Learn more: Make sure to read my top reasons for visiting Armenia.

Backpacker Budget: $25 per day

Mid-range Budget: $40 per day

P.S. I have written an inspiring book that explains how you can travel more and affordably. If you're unsure of where to start or how to travel on a budget, my book will provide you with the answers!

P.P.S. Keep in mind that the budgets mentioned here are just suggestions and depend on your personal travel style. The suggested budgets are per person per day and do not include one-off expenses such as flights or travel insurance.

When considering a backpacker budget, it assumes that you will stay in hostel dorms or share rooms in economical guesthouses. You will primarily eat local food in cafes and use local transportation, while avoiding expensive private tours.

For a mid-range budget, it assumes that you will stay in nicer B&Bs, local guesthouses, or budget hotels. You will regularly take day tours and participate in other organized activities, and have at least one sit-down meal in a nice restaurant each day.

Please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission from recommended products or services. For more information, please refer to our site policies.

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When it comes to satisfying your wanderlust without breaking the bank, these cheap travel destinations will be your ultimate guide. Whether you're exploring the vibrant streets of Bangkok, embarking on a safari adventure in South Africa, or immersing yourself in the rich history of Greece, these countries offer incredible value for budget travelers. From the underrated beauty of Bulgaria to the pristine landscapes of Costa Rica, you can indulge in unforgettable experiences without burning a hole in your pocket. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the world without compromising on your savings. With these affordable destinations, your dream trip is just a plane ticket away.

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